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Car Stereo Speaker Installation

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by EBodious, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    hey all

    anyone have any words of wisdom on installing car stereo speakers?

    last fall, i replaced the stereo in my van (easy enough), but it was a much stronger stereo than the 20+ year old stock system. its rated at 100 watts (25 watts per channel). the stock speakers couldn't handle it. they farted out really bad. so, i replaced the 2 back speakers with ones rated well above the 25 watts. they are, however, only 6" speakers (space constraints). so, they still fart out on the mids and have almost no bass.

    is there something i am missing as far as speakers go? i did not expect great bass response from 6" speakers, but, i did expect them to handle the power of the stereo.

    praytell, what am i doing wrong?!?!?!?!?
  2. Don't buy cheap speakers. Buy Alpines or Hertz. 6" speakers are way more than enough to have a great sound with good bass response. Are you sure it isn't the front speakers farting out?

  3. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    thanks for responding.

    i just went and checked my facts (i originally posted from work without solid info).

    the stereo puts out 50 watts per channel
    the rear speakers are 4 inches, alpines, and rated for 20 watts nomial, 100 watts max.
    the front speakers are still the stocks (less than 4 in). and yes, the rear ones clearly fart out as well as the front ones.

    i was hoping to run the stereo mostly thru the rear with a little support from the front. it sounds great at VERY low volumes. but driving on the hiway, or rocking out, it is a distorted mess.

    four inches is my limit unless i either cut holes in the rear bench and mount them down there or do some heavy modding to the current speaker spot and try out those oblong speakers.

    its a vw vanagon.

    any thoughts?
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Your speakers must be rated to handle at least as much power as the stereo puts out - in your case, minimum 50W. When you turn it up, you're overdriving the speakers. The 20W speakers you're using aren't correct for your installation.
  5. Really sounds like you are over powering the speakers. Pay no attention to the max ratings on anything car stereo related. The only rating that you want to look at is the rms (or wrms) rating, which will be the lowest of all the ratings.

    If you don't want to do any modding, I would suggest buying better speakers that are rated at 50wrms. If you want to do some modding, cut the current holes bigger and go for some 4x6 speakers, or 6 inch rounds, for the back. Buy some new speakers for the front as well. In all you should be able to do it for around $200, fronts and rears.

    If it comes down to it, you want better speakers in the front than in the back. You sit in the front, not the back. Who cares about the people that you are carrying around?

    I suggest Hertz speakers if you can find them. They don't have a lot of dealers, but they make some of the best speakers in the business at pioneer prices. If you can't find those, you can never go wrong with Alpine or Boston Acoustic, just make sure that you match wattage.


    EDIT: I used to compete, so I might just know what I am talking about ;)
  6. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    thanks guys, i thought this would be easier than bass amp and cabs. ha.
    the guys at the store were convinced that the speakers could handle the stereo. :rolleyes: thing is, i don't have to turn the stereo up much at all to distort the speakers. not nearly 50 watts (assuming its 50 watts at full blast). not even halfway.

    i would like to try some 4x6's, but it will require a little modding. it's a weird spot in the van. if i were to go down to bottom of the rear bench, i could put in any size speaker i want. how hard is it to run wires behind the interior? i never understood how car stereo guys did that.
  7. All that stuff should just pop off. Find the seams, give it a little push and find the spots where is clicks together. Or it might be screwed on, just take the screws out and it will come right off. Not any harder than taking the dash apart to put the HU in. If you really can't figure out how to get it apart, google it, if the vehicle has been made, someone has done a crazy install in it.

    Also, the people at best buy don't know jack. If you need advice, go to a stereo shop, better prices usually as well.

  8. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006

    unfortunately, i did get the speakers at a car stereo store. oh well. when i need accurate info, i turn to tb...
  9. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Vanagons are loud. I would suggest getting some bigger speakers. Perhaps springing for a professional installation.
  10. If you need anything just PM me. I have been out of the loop for a few years, but I can still toss together a good sounding system off the top of my head. I am installing one on Sunday, in fact.

  11. hover


    Oct 4, 2008
    Also make sure the speakers are wired correctly in phase with each other... If not, you'd get minimal low end and a lack of output where you'd have to push the amp / speakers to clipping.
  12. Time for a subwoofer!
  13. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
  14. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    If the music (or other audio) you play is bass-heavy (and I don't know why in the world that might be the case ;)), be aware that it demands much greater cone excursion. In fact, decreasing a signal's frequency by one octave (halving the frequency, IOW) while maintaining the same amplitude will quadruple cone excursion, excluding the effects of resonances.

    One way to deal with this phenomenon is to use a loudspeaker driver that has a larger cone area and larger excursion capability (in a suitable enclosure)—that is, a subwoofer.
  15. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    thanks for the suggestions

    i am actually not looking to rattle the windows of the houses i pass by. but after 12 years of saying i should get some decent sound in my van, i think i am ready to do it already!

    procrastinating bass players club #1.

    one thing the stereo store guys told me was that the speakers had to be enclosed. they sold me two of those foam cups (that didn't fit rite and had to modded). any truth to this theory?

    another question is: do i have to worry about 8 ohms/4ohms? i went looking at speakers online and some are 4, some are 8. this is a standard 2 sets of speakers car stereo (2 front, 2 rear). is it two sets of 4 ohm speakers? two sets of 8 ohms?
  16. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    ok, i guess it would be nice to hear some bass!

    i briefly considered having tweeters up above the rear bench (where the factory speakers went), and woofers down below the bench (it is a storage space, but i could go without). i assume i would then need a crossover and some cleverly hidden wires runs. i was trying not to go overboard, but.....
  17. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    You said you upgraded the stereo but you didn't say what you upgraded to (brand and model).
  18. EBodious


    Aug 2, 2006
    i am at work, but i believe it is a pioneer 200 watt (4 x 50). pretty basic, $100 model. has the aux input in front for tape player (or ipod i guess!).

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